My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam.
I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (www.freethinkingfilms.com)
Taking diversity too far....
They have a duty to fight fires...and that's all.
Nine firemen have been disciplined after refusing to hand out leaflets at a "gay pride" march, and will be forced to undergo intensive "diversity training".
Senior officers reported the men from the red watch crew at Cowcaddens fire station in Glasgow after the Pride Scotia march in the city in June.
Some refused to attend the event on religious and moral grounds, while others said they would be embarrassed to man a stall in uniform, and did not regard the handing out of leaflets to homosexuals and lesbians as part of their core duties.
One of the men asked his priest to write a letter of explanation.
But after disciplinary hearings they have all been given written warnings and the crew manager has been demoted, with a £5,000 salary cut.
Shades of Quebec....
I remember when a Catholic school said that children couldn't speak in english in Quebec....
In the latest round of the language wars between the Dutch and French speaking halves of Belgium, a Flemish town has banned the use of anything other than Dutch in schools. The rules extend to playground conversations between children.
Under the new order, passed unanimously by the town council of Merchtem, it is forbidden for parents, pupils or visitors to speak a "foreign" language, such as French, English or Arabic, while on state school premises.
The rule covers mothers waiting to pick up their children in the school entrance hall, or siblings whispering during break-times.
This is all so silly and counter-productive. Let the children speak what they want....
Child Abuse in Lebanon....
When will the press start calling this sort of stuff, child abuse?
Mirfat Al-Hakim titled "Hizbullah's Children's Militias." The article reveals that Hizbullah has recruited over 2,000 children aged 10-15 to serve in armed militias, and that the Hizbullah-affiliated Mahdi Scouts youth organization is training them to become martyrs. 
The following are excerpts from the article:
Hizbullah Recruits Children Barely 10 Years Old
According to Roz Al-Yusuf, "Hizbullah has recruited over 2,000 innocent children aged 10-15 to form armed militias. Before the recent war with Israel, these children appeared only in the annual Jerusalem Day celebrations, and were referred to as the 'December 14 Units,' but today they are called istishhadiyun ['martyrs']..."
"Hizbullah has customarily recruited youths and children and trained them to fight from a very early age. These are children barely 10 years old, who wear camouflage uniforms, cover their faces with black [camouflage] paint, swear to wage jihad, and join the Mahdi Scouts [youth organization]...
"The children are selected by Hizbullah recruitment [officers] based on one criterion only: They must be willing to become martyrs."
The Children Train to Become Martyrs
"The children are educated from an early age to become martyrs in their youth, like their fathers, and their training is carried out by the Mahdi Scouts youth organization... [This organization], which is affiliated with Hizbullah, teaches the children the basic principles of Shi'ite ideology and of Hizbullah's ideology... The first lesson that the children are taught by Hizbullah is 'The Disappearance of Israel,' and it is always an important part of the [training] program...
"The Mahdi Scouts organization was founded in Lebanon on May 5, 1985... According to the organization's website, the number of [scouts] who had undergone training by the end of 2004 was 1,491, and the number of scout groups which had joined [the organization] was 449, with a membership of 41,960. According to the organization's most recent statistics, since 2004, 120 of its members have been ready to become martyrs.
"The organization's goal is to train an exemplary generation of Muslims based on the [principle of] 'the rule of the jurisprudent' [a founding principle of the Islamic Revolution in Iran], and to prepare for the coming of the Imam Mahdi [the Shi'ite messiah]. Its members, including the children, undertake to obey their commanders, to bring honor to the [Muslim] nation, and to prepare themselves for helping the Mahdi [when he comes]."
Miss England speaks.....
She believes that stereotyping leads to terror...
The first Muslim to be crowned Miss England has warned that stereotyping members of her community is leading some towards extremism.
Hammasa Kohistani made history last year when she was chosen to represent England in the Miss World pageant.
But one year on, the 19-year-old student from Hounslow feels that winning the coveted beauty title last September was a "sugar coating" for Muslims who have become more alienated in the past 12 months.
She said: "The attitude towards Muslims has got worse over the year. Also the Muslims' attitude to British people has got worse.
"Even moderate Muslims are turning to terrorism to prove themselves. They think they might as well support it because they are stereotyped anyway. It will take a long time for communities to start mixing in more.
"People may feel I am just a sugar coating on the situation. I am a symbol to show it's not really that bad.
But at the same time, she said, "there is this hostility" which comes "mainly from the Government".
Too bad she couldn't be a real role model for the community and have moderate muslims examine their own community a little more closely.
This is going to debut at the Toronto Film Festival...
Yes. a docudrama about the assassination of George Bush.
This is the dramatic moment when President George Bush is gunned down by a sniper after a public address at a hotel, in a gripping new docudrama soon to be aired on TV.
Set around October 2007, President Bush is assassinated as he leaves the Sheraton Hotel in Chicago.
Death of a President, shot in the style of a retrospective documentary, looks at the effect the assassination of Bush has on America in light of its 'War on Terror'.
The 90 minutes feature explores who could have planned the murder, with a Syrian-born man wrongly put in the frame.
Peter Dale, head of More4, which is due to air the film on October 9, said the drama was a "thought-provoking critique" of contemporary US society.
He said: "It's an extraordinarily gripping and powerful piece of work, a drama constructed like a documentary that looks back at the assassination of George Bush as the starting point for a very gripping detective story.
"It's a pointed political examination of what the War on Terror did to the American body politic.
I will be at the Toronto Film Festival this year...I think I will pass on this film.
How's this for an investigation...
With all of their problems, the Lebanese are investigating the General who had tea with the Israelis.
Parliament's Defense, Interior and Security Committee held discussions Thursday on investigations by the Lebanese Army and the Internal Security Forces into an incident in Marjayoun during the war in which a Lebanese general was videotaped having tea with Israeli officers.
On August 10, as the Israeli offensive was in its final days, Israeli troops took control of the South Lebanese town of Marjayoun. Two Israeli tanks rolled up to the gate of the local garrison, where a white flag of surrender was fluttering outside the barracks. In video shot by Israeli television, Lebanese soldiers inside were shown offering tea to the Israelis. The encounter appeared social.
After the video was aired, the Interior Ministry ordered the arrest of the base commander, General Adnan Daoud. Lebanon does not recognize Israel and forbids its citizens any contact with Israelis.
Following the 90-minute committee meeting, MP Walid Eido said the panel examined the Interior Ministry's report into the incident with the participation of the ISF general inspector, Brigadier General Simon Haddad, who questioned Daoud after his arrest.
According to Eido, the committee decided that the case needed further investigation. The file had been referred to the committee by Speaker Nabih Berri.
Time to allow gays in US military....
Here's just one more example of where servicepeople are very accepting of gays...
The Uniformed Services University, a Department of Defense military medical, nursing and graduate school, has elected an openly gay man as student council president.
Patrick M. High becomes the first openly gay student council president at USU. He was elected by a student body that includes uniformed personnel in the armed forces and will represent graduate students at the university.
Before coming out High served nine years in the Illinois Army National Guard and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at USU.
Although some civilians attend the university most students are either in the military or have served. Most those who graduate from the university enter jobs with the government in the public health field.
“Patrick High’s election as student council president is just the latest in a series of signs that those serving in our armed forces are ready to welcome openly gay colleagues,” said C. Dixon Osburn, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.
“High was elected based on his qualifications for the post, and that same criteria should be the guiding force throughout the military. His fellow students, including military students, have placed their trust in a leader who represents their ideals and goals."
Five Minutes to Midnight....
An excellent piece by Robert Tracinski...
It is, indeed, "five minutes to midnight"—not just for Israel, but for the West. The time is very short now before we will have to confront Iran. The only question is how long we let events spin out of our control, and how badly we let the enemy hit us before we begin fighting back.
We can't avoid this war, because Iran won't let us avoid it. That is the real analogy to the 1930s. Hitler came to power espousing the goal of German world domination, openly promising to conquer neighboring nations through military force and to persecute and murder Europe's Jews. He predicted that the free nations of the world would be too weak—too morally weak—to stand up to him, and European and American leaders spent the 1930s reinforcing that impression. So Hitler kept advancing—the militarization of the Rhineland in 1936, the Spanish bombing campaign in 1937, the annexation of Austria and the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1938, the invasion of Poland in 1939—until the West finally, belated decided there was no alternative but war.
That is what is playing out today. Iran's theocracy has chosen, as the nation's new president, a religious fanatic who believes in the impending, apocalyptic triumph of Islam over the infidels. He openly proclaims his desire to create an Iranian-led Axis that will unite the Middle East in the battle against America, and he proclaims his desire to "wipe Israel off the map," telling an audience of Muslim leaders that "the main solution" to the conflict in Lebanon is "the elimination of the Zionist regime." (Perhaps this would be better translated as Ahmadinejad's "final solution" to the problem of Israel.)
Like Hitler, Ahmadinejad regards the free nations of the world as fading "sunset" powers, too morally weak to resist his legions of Muslim fanatics. And when we hesitate to kill Muqtada al-Sadr in Iraq, when we pressure Israel to rein in its attacks on Hezbollah, when we pander to the anti-Jewish bigotry of the "Muslim street"—we reinforce his impression of our weakness.
The result has been and will be the same: Iran will press its advantage and continue to attack our interests in the Middle East and beyond. The only question is when we will finally decide that Iran's aggression has gone too far and its theocratic regime needs to be destroyed.
Let him stay in his bunker...
Like Bin Laden, he can't wait the streets of any city....
Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah refused to emerge from his bunker on Thursday to celebrate his 46th birthday.
A Hizbullah source told the Egyptian Al-Ahara'am newspaper that Nasrallah turned down a request from youngsters in his movement and in other organizations to celebrate his birthday in a modest manner in the Da'ahiyeh neighborhood of south Beirut.
Nasrallah said that he preferred to celebrate with his "warriors" when security conditions made it possible to do so.
On Tuesday Prime Minister Ehud Olmert mocked Nasrallah saying, "I walk around freely, and he's still hiding in a bunker."
Pinocchio converts to Islam....
And, not a moment too soon.
Pinocchio, Tom Sawyer and other characters have been converted to Islam in new versions of 100 classic stories on the Turkish school curriculum.
"Give me some bread, for Allah's sake," Pinocchio says to Geppetto, his maker, in a book stamped with the crest of the ministry of education.
"Thanks be to Allah," the puppet says later.
In The Three Musketeers, D'Artagnan is told that he cannot visit Aramis. The reason would surprise the author, Alexandre Dumas.
An old woman explains: "He is surrounded by men of religion. He converted to Islam after his illness."
Tom Sawyer may always have shirked his homework, but he is more conscientious in learning his Islamic prayers. He is given a "special treat" for learning the Arabic words.
Pollyanna, seen by some as the embodiment of Christian forgiveness, says that she believes in the end of the world as predicted in the Koran.
Heidi, the Swiss orphan girl in the tale by Johanna Spyri, is told that praying to Allah will help her to relax.
Several more books have been altered, including La Fontaine's fables and Victor Hugo's Les Miserables.
The clumsy insertions by Islamic publishing houses have caused controversy in Turkey, which has been a strongly secular state since the 1920s.
Salt Lake City issues permit for "Death to Israel" rally...
I support free speech for sure...but if I lived there...I sure as hell would be on the streets voicing my opposition to these people.
Salt Lake City will allow local defense attorney Robert Breeze to hold a "Death to Israel" demonstration Wednesday despite concerns from the Jewish community.
The permit will be approved next week, after the city and Breeze finalize where the demonstration, one of several planned for that day, will be held. It will run from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Breeze, 52, said his goal is to protest "the torture and murder inflicted on Muslims by Israel and the penetration of the U.S. media by Israeli intelligence."
While he said his group - the Center to Prevent Corporate Media Lying - has other members and financial donors, Breeze wouldn't name them. And he acknowledged some of his past protests against media coverage of the Iraq war that he held in front of the KSL studios included paid participants from the homeless shelter.
Some demonstrators Wednesday also may be paid.
"They're called 'vicarious protesters,' " he said.
When asked if he wants to see the elimination of Israel, Breeze said: "The President of Iran has an excellent idea. . . . I would like to see them move Israel to Virginia and put all the current Virginians in a concentration camp. Then we'll see how popular Israel is [in the United States]."
A Canadian View of Hezbollah....
I don't know Canadian cartoonist Renaud Bedard, but this cartoon is from an Iranian website. I guess he thinks the Neil Young song, "Love is a Rose" should be re-written to be "Hezbollah is a Rose."
Political correctness for school children...
This is sickening....
You're a publisher of children's textbooks, and you have a problem. Your diversity guidelines -- quotas in all but name -- require you to include pictures of disabled children in your elementary and high school texts, but it isn't easy to find handicapped children who are willing and able to pose for a photographer. Kids confined to wheelchairs often suffer from afflictions that affect their appearance, such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy. How can you meet your quota of disability images if you don't have disabled models who are suitably photogenic?
Well, you can always do what Houghton Mifflin does. The well-known textbook publisher keeps a wheelchair on hand as a prop and hires able-bodied children from a modeling agency to pose in it. It keeps colorful pairs of crutches on hand, too -- in case a child model turns out to be the wrong size for the wheelchair.
Houghton Mifflin's ploy was recently described by reporter Daniel Golden in a Wall Street Journal story on the lengths to which publishers go to get images of minorities and the disabled into grade-school textbooks. A Houghton Mifflin spokesman claimed that able-bodied models are presented as handicapped only as a last resort. But according to one of the company's regular photographers, the deception is the norm. At least three-fourths of the children portrayed as disabled in Houghton Mifflin textbooks actually aren't, she told Golden. In fact, publishers have to keep track of all the models they use for such pictures, so that a child posing as disabled in one chapter isn't shown running or climbing a tree in another.
Faked photos of handicapped kids are just one of the ways in which truth is sacrificed on the altar of diversity. The cofounder of PhotoEdit Inc., a commercial archive that specializes in pictures of what it calls "ethnic and minority people in all walks of life," advises publishers that images of Chicanos can be passed off as American Indians from the Southwest, because they "look very similar." Similarly, Golden notes, a textbook photographer tells clients that since the "facial features" of some Asians resemble Indians from Mexico, "there are some times where you can flip-flop."
Yet pictures of authentic Hispanics who happen to have blond hair or blue eyes don't count toward the Hispanic quota "because their background would not be apparent to readers." In other words, rather than expose schoolchildren to the fact that "Hispanic" is an artificial classification that encompasses people of every color, publishers promote the fiction that all Hispanics look the same -- and that looks, not language or lineage, are the essence of Hispanic identity.
I didn't see anything noted about 72 virgins...
Israeli soldiers who searched Hezbollah homes and bunkers in the south Lebanese village of Maroun el-Ras found a booklet that provided a glimpse into that movement`s religious indoctrination.
It extolled holy war and martyrdom and provided examples from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards` experience.
Soldiers found four copies of that booklet in Maroun el-Ras that has seen some heavy fighting with Hezbollah.
Israeli intelligence experts reckoned that since several copies were found in Hezbollah`s front lines, the 60-page booklet must be an authorized Islamic guidance manual.
It is written like a Muslim-Shiite ideological treatise with quotes from the Koran and Shiite traditions. It presents the Jihad, or Holy War, as a way in which a Muslim may sacrifice his life for Allah and reach heaven. The Shahada, or martyrdom on the battlefield, is a prize for a Muslim warrior, the document says.
There are several gates to Heaven and the most prestigious of all is the one for those involved in a Jihad. That is why every Muslim should strive to take part in a holy war. Victory in a Jihad, or martyrdom, are tops.
Arab Leaders Stole Billions....
And, it still goes on....
Jordanian Prince Hassan Bin Talal, who was the Jordanian heir apparent until Abdullah was crowned as king, launched a sharp verbal attack against the leaders of Arab countries during a Kyoto conference.
"The Arab leaders stole billions of dollars from the Arab people and spent it on weapons to fight Israel, which they will never defeat, instead of using the money for health and education purposes to aid their people," he stated.
Speaking at the world conference of the interfaith group "Religions for Peace", Prince Hassan also attacked the Iranian nuclear development program. Hassan spoke against nuclear armament, especially on Iran's part, and said that it needs to be made sure that the nuclear project in Iran does not reach the stage of nuclear weapons. Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami was present at the conference.
Amnesty's Anti-Israel bias....
I used to have a lot of respect for Amnesty International...not anymore...
Amnesty International is not only sacrificing its own credibility when it misstates the law and omits relevant facts in its obsession over Israel. It also harms progressive causes that AI should be championing. Just last year, for example, Amnesty blamed Palestinian rapes and "honor killings" on - you guessed it - the Israeli occupation. When I pointed out that there was absolutely no statistical evidence to show that domestic violence increased during the occupation, and that Amnesty's report relied exclusively on the conclusory and anecdotal reports of Palestinian NGOs, Amnesty stubbornly repeated that "Israel is implicated in this violence by Palestinian men against Palestinian women." This episode only underscored AI's predisposition to blame everything on Israel. Even when presented with an ideal opportunity to promote gender equality and feminism in the Arab world, it preferred to take wholly unrelated and absurd shots at Israel.
Amnesty International just can't seem to help itself when it comes to blaming Israel for the evils of the world, but rational observers must not credit the pre-determined conclusions of a once-reputable organization that has destroyed its own credibility by repeatedly applying a double standard to Israel.
The Amnesty report that Dershowitz talks about blames Israel for war crimes in Lebanon...without anything about Hezbollah. Please read the whole thing.
2 Israelis beaten in Belgrade....
Doesn't sound like a great place to visit.
Two Israeli citizens were severely beaten by a group of skinheads in a Belgrade park in what Jewish leaders in Serbia described Tuesday as an anti-Semitic attack.
The two - Jariv Avram, 27, and Bojana Petkovic, 23 - were attacked late Sunday during a rock music festival in a downtown park by several men wearing Nazi symbols, police said.
Avram suffered serious head injuries, while Petkovic was bruised, the two Israelis told Belgrade media.
"They were chanting 'Auschwitz, Auschwitz' and 'Go to Germany' as they attacked us," Avram said, adding that police did nothing to protect them.
"This is not the first such anti-Jewish and racist attack by skinheads and other such groups" in Serbia, the Serbian Jewish Community said in a statement. It called for police to arrest the perpetrators.
American Muslims Aren't that Assimilated....
And, what about Canada?
If only the Muslims in Europe -- with their hearts focused on the Islamic world and their carry-on liquids poised for destruction in the West -- could behave like the well-educated, secular and Americanizing Muslims in the United States, no one would have to worry.
So runs the comforting media narrative that has developed around the approximately 6 million Muslims in the United States, who are often portrayed as well-assimilated and willing to leave their religion and culture behind in pursuit of American values and lifestyle. But over the past two years, I have traveled the country, visiting mosques, interviewing Muslim leaders and speaking to Muslim youths in universities and Islamic centers from New York to Michigan to California -- and I have encountered a different truth. I found few signs of London-style radicalism among Muslims in the United States. At the same time, the real story of American Muslims is one of accelerating alienation from the mainstream of U.S. life, with Muslims in this country choosing their Islamic identity over their American one.
A new generation of American Muslims -- living in the shadow of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks -- is becoming more religious. They are more likely to take comfort in their own communities, and less likely to embrace the nation's fabled melting pot of shared values and common culture.
Part of this is linked to the resurgence of Islam over the past several decades, a growth as visible in Western Europe and the United States as it is in Egypt and Morocco. But the Sept. 11 attacks also had the dual effect of making American Muslims feel isolated in their adopted country, while pushing them to rediscover their faith.
From schools to language to religion, American Muslims are becoming a people apart. Young, first-generation American Muslim women -- whose parents were born in Egypt, Pakistan and other Islamic countries -- are wearing head scarves even if their mothers had left them behind; increasing numbers of young Muslims are attending Islamic schools and lectures; Muslim student associations in high schools and at colleges are proliferating; and the role of the mosque has evolved from strictly a place of worship to a center for socializing and for learning Arabic and Urdu as well as the Koran.
Now, will this lead to more extremism? That is the big question....
Bomb threat in Sweden...
Is this a new group - Global Intifada?
Little was known on Tuesday morning regarding two suspicious items removed from outside the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) building in Stockholm on Monday.
Norrmalm police said on Tuesday morning that they had yet to verify the contents of the two bottles taken the day before, reported Dagens Nyheter.
A bomb threat was sent to different Swedish media outlets Monday. The extreme left-wing group Global Intifada claimed responsibility for the threat.
The reason, said Global Intifada, was that FMV "actively buys weapons and military equipment from Israel".
Annan compares Israelis with Taliban...
And, of course, he is not calling for the unconditional release of the Israeli hostages.
In a departure from language used by the U.N. Security Council, Secretary-General Annan yesterday linked the issue of releasing Israeli soldiers to freeing Lebanese terrorists held by Israel. Hezbollah demanded a prisoner swap when it kidnapped the two soldiers on July 12, launching a month-long war.
Mr. Annan, speaking to the press in Beirut, retreated from several demands the Security Council made on Hezbollah and went as far as to equate the conduct of Israeli army soldiers with that of terrorists serving the Taliban regime.
"You have to talk with those with the guns to stop shooting, whether they are Israelis or whether they are Taliban or anybody else," he said, referring to the United Nations's need to deliver assistance to victims at times of war.
Are Palestinians Smuggling in Long-Range Missiles?
There's a serious security hole in Gaza...
Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin reiterated on Tuesday at a Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting that Palestinian terrorist organizations were studying the Lebanese-Israeli war to learn how to play on Israel's weaker points.
Diskin said the terror groups were stepping up efforts to smuggle long-range missiles - as well as experts in building and launching them - through the Philadelphi route.
MK Natan Sharansky (Likud) said, "For ten years, we've been hearing these types of reports, but there has never been such an immediate need for action. Every kind of weapon is getting into the Gaza Strip, and Hamas is establishing a terrorist army. It is no longer possible to say they didn't warn us."
Cover-up in Tehran...
Satellite dishes are also being confiscated....
Police in Iran's capital, Teheran, have stopped almost 64,000 women and warned them against breaching strict Muslim dress codes in the last month alone.
The authorities have chosen the height of summer for a new crackdown to ensure that women cover their heads with veils and their bodies with long, heavy overcoats whenever they can be seen in public.
For years, Iran's police turned a blind eye when young women pushed the boundaries of the rules by wearing the flimsiest of veils, or displaying painted toenails in open sandals. But President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's deeply conservative regime is steadily reversing this trend.
Police in Teheran have been given orders to caution any woman they deem to be "badly veiled". Thousands are being stopped every day.
Mohammad Reza Alipour, from the capital's police force, said that 63,963 women had been given a warning in the last month, with some making a "written pledge to dress properly".
Peta's dirty little secret...
More holocaust denial from Ahmadinejad...
He gets more and more strange...or is it dangerous?
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel in which he stated that the Holocaust was invented by the allies in order to embarrass Germany.
According to Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly denied the Holocaust, the countries that were victorious in World War II should have allowed the refugees to settle in their countries instead of promoting their settlement in "conquered Palestine". This, he argued, has created a permanent threat in the Middle East.
The letter, which was written over a month ago, was only published on Monday, Israel Radio reported.
Another reason why boys don't do as well....
It appears they learn better from men...but few men are teachers....
For all the differences between the sexes, here's one that might stir up debate in the teacher's lounge: Boys learn more from men and girls learn more from women.
That's the upshot of a provocative study by Thomas Dee, an associate professor of economics at Swarthmore College and visiting scholar at Stanford University. His study was to appear Monday in Education Next, a quarterly journal published by the Hoover Institution.
Vetted and approved by peer reviewers, Dr. Dee's research faces a fight for acceptance. Some leading education advocates dispute his conclusions and the way in which he reached them.
But Dr. Dee says his research supports his point, that gender matters when it comes to learning. Specifically, as he describes it, having a teacher of the opposite sex hurts a student's academic progress.
“We should be thinking more carefully about why,” he said.
Dr. Dee warns against drawing fast conclusions based on his work. He is not endorsing single-sex education, or any other policy.
Rather, he hopes his work will spur more research into gender's effect and what to do about it.
His study comes as the proportion of male teachers is at its lowest level in 40 years. Roughly 80 per cent of teachers in U.S. public schools are women.
Finally, some soul-searching by the Palestinians...
Very refreshing, particularly since it is by a Hamas spokesperson.
"When you walk in the streets of Gaza City, you cannot but close your eyes because of what you see there: unimaginable chaos, careless policemen, young men carrying guns and strutting with pride and families receiving condolences for their dead in the middle of the street."
This is how Ghazi Hamad, spokesman for the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority government and a former newspaper editor, described the situation in the Gaza Strip in an article he published on Sunday on some Palestinian news Web sites.
The article, the first of its kind by a senior Hamas official, also questioned the effectiveness of the Kassam rocket attacks and noted that since Israel evacuated the Gaza Strip, the situation there has deteriorated on all levels. It holds the armed groups responsible for the crisis and calls on them to reconsider their tactics and to stop blaming Israel for their mistakes.
"Gaza is suffering under the yoke of anarchy and the swords of thugs," Hamad wrote. "I remember the day when Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip and closed the gates behind. Then, Palestinians across the political spectrum took to the streets to celebrate what many of us regarded as the Israeli defeat or retreat. We heard a lot about a promising future in the Gaza Strip and about turning the area into a trade and industrial zone."
Hamad said the "culture of life" that prevailed in the Strip has since been replaced with a nightmare. "Life became a nightmare and an intolerable burden," he said. "Today I ask myself a daring and frightening question: 'Why did the occupation return to Gaza?' The normal reply: 'The occupation is the reason.'"
Dismissing Israel's responsibility for the growing state of anarchy and lawlessness in the Gaza Strip, Hamad said it was time for the Palestinians to embark on a soul-searching process to see where they erred.
"We're always afraid to talk about our mistakes," he added. "We're used to blaming our mistakes on others. What is the relationship between the chaos, anarchy, lawlessness, indiscriminate murders, theft of land, family rivalries, transgression on public lands and unorganized traffic and the occupation? We are still trapped by the mentality of conspiracy theories - one that has limited our capability to think."
Hamad admitted that the Palestinians have failed in developing the Gaza Strip following the Israeli withdrawal and in imposing law and order. He said about 500 Palestinians have been killed and 3,000 wounded since the Israeli pullout, in addition to the destruction of much of the infrastructure in the area.
Palestinians refuse to disarm...
Som e positive steps in Lebabnon...including Hezbollah dismantling 14 posts near the Sheaba Farms....but what about the Palestinians.
Meanwhile, the Lebanese government demanded from Palestinians in refugee camps in the Litani area to disarm in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1701, senior Fatah operative in Lebanon, Monir Al-Makdah, said on Monday morning.
Reportedly, Lebanese Prime Minister Faud Saniora made the request to Fatah representative in Lebanon Abbas Za'aki.
Al-Makdah rejected the demand in an interview with Jordanian newspaper Al-Dostur, saying that the Security Council resolution was illegal since it did not include the right of return for Palestinian refugees.
Either charge him or repeal the law...
And,t his man now preaches at Community Centres in the UK...
An associate of the jailed preacher Abu Hamza has praised the July 7 bombers and defended suicide attacks against Britons.
Abu Abdullah, 42, insisted it was justified to attack Western targets, adding he would 'love' to kill British soldiers in Afghanistan himself.
His comments will embarrass Tony Blair, who brought in laws banning the glorification of terrorism in the wake of last year's London bombings.
Despite legislation being introduced in March, no one has yet been charged for inciting extremism.
Abdullah is a former spokesman for Hamza, who was jailed for seven years for urging his followers to murder non-Muslims.
He is now the self-styled leader of the Supporters of Sharia, a fundamentalist group formed at Finsbury Park Mosque in North London.
The married father of four, who was born and grew up in Britain, has been barred from preaching at most mosques but continues to speak at low-key venues such as community centres.
Abdullah, real name Attila Ahmet, described the July 7 bombings - in which 52 bus and Tube passengers were murdered - as a 'wake-up call'.
He said: "I wasn't against them. We don't celebrate each other but these are my honourable brothers in Islam. Sometimes the innocent have to pay the price. Of course it is solving things."
He claimed suicide attacks were a legitimate way for Muslims to attack the UK, adding: "The martyr that goes amongst his enemies is going to shield his people.
"He doesn't have weapons of mass destruction, he only has household chemicals. the West is escalating the killing of Muslims (in the Middle East and Afghanistan). We have a right to defend ourselves.
"'If I had the means to go back (to Afghanistan) and kill an American or british soldier then I would love to do so."
Abdullah went on to say that the Prime Minister would remain a terrorist target unless his Government changed its foreign policies.
He said: "Those who are fighting Islam are targets - Tony Blair, the Army, the police."
He backed 'absolutely' the views of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president who has called for Israel to be wiped off the map, adding: "I don't recognise Israel. They (the Jews) are a treacherous people."
Oops, I should have had a V-8...
Of course, he could have released the soldiers within the first few days to stop the war....
Hezbollah would not have abducted two Israel Defense Forces soldiers on July 12 had it known that the action would lead to war in Lebanon, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said Sunday.
"We did not think, even one percent, that the capture would lead to a war at this time and of this magnitude. You ask me, if I had known on July 11... that the operation would lead to such a war, would I do it? I say no, absolutely not," he said in an interview with Lebanon's New TV station.
Sweden introducing contracts for new refugees...
Could you imagine the uproar if the Conservatives tried to introduce this?
A conditional introductory payment to newly-arrived refugees is one of the election committments to be presented by the Social Democrats next week, integration minister Jens Orback has revealed.
Newly-arrived refugees will have to sign a personal contract in which their rights and responsibilities are established.
"I want to make clear the responsibilities for those who come here," said Jens Orback to Göteborgs-Posten.
The contract will be linked to the financial support the refugee receives.
"If you don't go to Swedish For Immigrants (SFI) or take a work experience place, you won't get your introductory payment," said Orback.
Another condition will be that refugees must become informed about Swedish society.
UNIFIL Helps Hezbollah....
Surprise, surprise, UNIFIL broadcasts Israeli troop positions...
DURING THE RECENT month-long war between Hezbollah and Israel, U.N. "peacekeeping" forces made a startling contribution: They openly published daily real-time intelligence, of obvious usefulness to Hezbollah, on the location, equipment, and force structure of Israeli troops in Lebanon.
UNIFIL--the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, a nearly 2,000-man blue-helmet contingent that has been present on the Lebanon-Israel border since 1978--is officially neutral. Yet, throughout the recent war, it posted on its website for all to see precise information about the movements of Israeli Defense Forces soldiers and the nature of their weaponry and materiel, even specifying the placement of IDF safety structures within hours of their construction. New information was sometimes only 30 minutes old when it was posted, and never more than 24 hours old.
Meanwhile, UNIFIL posted not a single item of specific intelligence regarding Hezbollah forces. Statements on the order of Hezbollah "fired rockets in large numbers from various locations" and Hezbollah's rockets "were fired in significantly larger numbers from various locations" are as precise as its coverage of the other side ever got.
Here's some examples:
Compare the vague "various locations" language with this UNIFIL posting from July 25:
Yesterday and during last night, the IDF moved significant reinforcements, including a number of tanks, armored personnel carriers, bulldozers and infantry, to the area of Marun Al Ras inside Lebanese territory. The IDF advanced from that area north toward Bint Jubayl, and south towards Yarun.
Or with the posting on July 24, in which UNIFIL revealed that the IDF stationed between Marun Al Ras and Bint Jubayl were "significantly reinforced during the night and this morning with a number of tanks and armored personnel carriers."
The Latest in Belgium...
Gee, their per-capita murder rate is twice that of the US.
There is also the amazing case of journalist Paul Belien, who edits the Brussels Journal, a pro-American, Euroskeptic, anti-Islamist blog. In February, the blog was one of the few news sources to republish the notorious Danish cartoons of the prophet Mohammad, thereby attracting some two million unique visits. It also attracted extraordinary scrutiny from the Flemish newsweekly Knack. Noting that Mr. Belien's blog had been cited by Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes, Knack described the link as "no coincidence," but rather a "deliberate provocation by the neocons," the ultimate aim of which was to make Americans and Europeans believe "that all Muslims are violent and dangerous, after which the clash in Palestine, Iran and Syria can really kick off."
But that was as nothing compared to the reaction Mr. Belien provoked by an article following the Van Holsbeeck murder [a teenager murdered by two gypsy youths who wanted his MP3 player], in which he described the killers as "predators" and called for Belgium to decriminalize the possession of self-defense weapons (pepper spray is what he says he had mainly in mind).
Two weeks after the article appeared, Mr. Belien received a letter from the Center for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism, a government-mandated body whose mission is to "assist victims of discrimination" and "sensitize the general public on antidiscrimination." (Belgium has one of the strongest antidiscrimination regimes anywhere.) Mr. Belien's article, according to the CEOOR, constituted an "incitement to violence"; he was ordered to remove it from his blog or face state prosecution. He complied. In the meantime, he says he received emails with pictures of burned corpses and messages reading, "This is what is going to happen to you."
The Useless UN Mission...
They won't disarm Hezbollah, and now they won't stop the shipment of weapons either.
The United Nations peacekeeping force to be deployed in Lebanon is facing further criticism after the admission that its forces will not even be allowed to intercept shipments of arms to Hezbollah from Syria.
Speaking in Brussels before heading to the region, Kofi Annan, pictured below, the UN Secretary-General, confirmed that the 15,000-strong force will not meet Israeli demands to police the routes used by the militia to smuggle missiles from Syria.
"Troops are not going in there to disarm - let's be clear," he said. Instead, the Unifil force will only carry out interception missions if asked by the Lebanese government - which has made no such request. Syria, meanwhile, accused by Israel of re-arming Hezbollah during the recent conflict, has said the deployment of any UN forces near its border would be considered a "hostile act".
Britain Buries Multiculturalism....
Can we bury it here too?
It has all been a long time coming. Some 22 years ago Ray Honeyford, the previously obscure headmaster of Drummond middle school in Bradford, suggested, in the low-circulation right-wing periodical The Salisbury Review, that his Asian pupils should really be better integrated into British society.
They should learn English, for a start, and a bit of British history and a sense of what the country is about; further, Asian (Muslim) girls should be allowed to learn to swim despite the objections of their parents (who did not like them stripping down even in front of each other). Muslim kids should be treated like every other pupil, in other words.
For these mild contentions, Honeyford was investigated by the government, vilified as a racist by the press, ridiculed every day by leftie demonstrators outside his office and was eventually hounded from his job. He has not worked since.
Perhaps it will be a consolation to him, as he sits idly in his neat, small, semi-detached house in Bury, Lancashire, that he has now been comprehensively outflanked on the far right by a whole bunch of Labour politicians, including at least one minister, and indeed the chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality. Then again, perhaps it won’t.
It is impossible to overstate the magnitude of this shift. To give you an example of the lunacy that prevailed back in Honeyford’s time: then, the Commission for Racial Equality was happy to instruct Britain’s journalists that Chinese people were henceforth to be described as “black” because that, objectively, was their subjective political experience at the hands of the oppressive white hegemony.
I don’t suppose they asked the Chinese if they minded this appellation or derogation — the question would not even have occurred.
By definition, people who were “not-white” — from Beijing to Barbados — were banded together in their oppression and implacable opposition to the prevailing white culture and thus united in their political aspirations. People from Baluchistan, Tobago and Bangladesh were defined solely by their lack of whiteness.
This was, when you think about it, a quintessentially racist assumption, as well as being authoritarian and — as the writer Kenan Malik puts it — “anti-human”.
We are not born with a gene that insists we become Muslim or Christian or Rastafarian. We are born, all of us, with a tabula rasa; we are not defined by the nationality or religion or cultural assumptions of our parents. But that was the mindset which, at that time, prevailed.
This is how far we have come in the past year or so. When an ICM poll of Britain’s Muslims in February this year revealed that some 40% (that is, about 800,000 people) wished to see Islamic law introduced in parts of Britain, the chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality responded by saying that they should therefore pack their bags and clear off. Sir Trevor Phillips’s exact words were these: “If you want to have laws decided in another way, you have to live somewhere else.”
My guess is this: if such a statement had been made by a member of the Tory party’s Monday Club in 1984 — or, for that matter, 1994 — he would have been excoriated and quite probably would have been kicked out of the party. “If you don’t like it here then go somewhere else” was once considered the apogee of “racism”. People who did not like it here were exhorted to exert their political muscle and change the status quo.
This is important....I hope the Harper Government is watching....perhaps it will take a majority Harper government for them to move in the same direction.
More Lebanese come out against Hezbollah....
Nice to see...but can it lead to a political consensus to disarm Hezbollah?
MARWAHEEN, LEBANON - They pushed, shoved, shouted and cursed one another.
In the end, posters of Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah would not be plastered around this tiny Sunni Muslim village in southern Lebanon mourning the loss of 23 of its own, slain in an Israeli air attack during the month-long war with Hezbollah.
"Why do you want to put up an image of someone who is killing us?" one man screamed as a mob of dozens waved their fists and thrust open palms toward Nasrallah supporters clutching posters of the bearded and bespectacled Hezbollah chief. "We don't want to see it!"
Another view of Hezbollah's loss....
Michael Young is opinion editor of the Daily Star in Lebanon.
Some analyses suggest Iranian officials are livid with Nasrallah for having squandered massive Iranian investment in Hezbollah. Missing from this, however, is that the party has also managed to turn the Lebanese consensus squarely against the party. Despite Saad-Ghorayeb's assertion that the balance of power will change in Lebanon, in the past week the opposite seems to have been true, as both the government and the parliamentary majority, made up of the so-called March 14 forces hostile to Syria and critical of Hezbollah, have worked to curtail any effort by Nasrallah to transform his so-called victory into political gains. Indeed, as the costs of the war are tallied, there has been a noticeable lack of enthusiasm in Lebanon to see the war as anything but a calamity. With the party itself deeply occupied with the Shiites' rehabilitation, it has not been able to reverse this mood.
So perhaps a victory it is, but in that case Hezbollah's victory is no different than most other Arab victories in recent decades: the "victory" of October 1973, where Egypt and Syria managed to cross into Israeli-held land, their land, only to be later saved from a thrashing by timely United Nations intervention; the "victory" of 1982, where Palestinian groups were ultimately expelled from West Beirut, but were proud to have stayed in the fight for three months; the Iraqi "victory" of 1991, where Saddam Hussein brought disaster on his country but still held on to power. Now we have the Hezbollah "victory" of 2006: the Israelis bumbled and blundered, but still managed to create a million refugees, to kill over 1,000 people, and to kick Lebanon's economy back several years. One dreads to imagine what Hezbollah would recognize as a military loss.
Dangerous thinking from the Liberals...
Is this Scary Week for the Liberals? First, the nonsense about Hezbollah and now this....
Liberal leadership hopeful Gerard Kennedy is proposing an ambitious plan to erase the wage gap between men and women.
The plan includes dramatically boosting day care spaces, eliminating inequities in the tax system and collaborating with business and labour to make the work force more equitable and hospitable for women.
Kennedy said his plan would not only give working women the income boost they deserve, it would lure up to 1.6 million more women into the work force.
None of this will work....there is really not much of a wage gap when you factor in experience, hours of work, part vs. full time work, etc.
And, these are the moderates???
The press will always refer to Abbas as a moderate...
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party is ready to join the Hamas government even if Hamas does not recognize Israel's right to exist, Fatah officials said on Thursday.
Meanwhile, a Hamas minister accused Abbas of "confiscating" more than $35 million to pay his loyalists and supporters.
Minister of Culture Attallah Abu Sabah said the money had been collected by the government to pay the salaries of civil servants.
"Abbas took the money to pay members of the PLO executive committee and employees of Palestine TV," he said. "As a result, we were not able to pay the civil servants their full salaries."
The announcement by the Fatah officials came on the second day of the meeting of the party's central committee in Jordan. The discussions are focusing on Abbas's efforts to persuade Hamas to join a national-unity government and ways of reforming Fatah following its defeat in the parliamentary elections.
Abbas met in Amman with King Abdullah II and briefed him on the ongoing discussions and on the situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Abbas also talked on the phone with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and urged her to intervene with Israel to ease its restriction on the Palestinians and to halt its military operations in PA areas.
"We're not asking Hamas to recognize Israel as a prerequisite for forming a national-unity government," said Abbas Zaki, member of the central committee. "We're prepared to form a government with Hamas as soon as possible to avoid a catastrophe in the West Bank and Gaza Strip."
Amir Taheri on why Hezbollah didn't win...
Slowly, we are starting to learn more about what the Lebanese think...
Immediately after the U.N.-ordained ceasefire started, Hezbollah organized a series of firework shows, accompanied by the distribution of fruits and sweets, to celebrate its victory. Most Lebanese, however, finding the exercise indecent, stayed away. The largest "victory march" in south Beirut, Hezbollah's stronghold, attracted just a few hundred people.
Initially Hezbollah had hesitated between declaring victory and going into mourning for its "martyrs." The latter course would have been more in harmony with Shiite traditions centered on the cult of Imam Hussain's martyrdom in 680 A.D. Some members of Hezbollah wished to play the martyrdom card so that they could accuse Israel, and through it the U.S., of war crimes. They knew that it was easier for Shiites, brought up in a culture of eternal victimhood, to cry over an imagined calamity than laugh in the joy of a claimed victory.
Politically, however, Hezbollah had to declare victory for a simple reason: It had to pretend that the death and desolation it had provoked had been worth it. A claim of victory was Hezbollah's shield against criticism of a strategy that had led Lebanon into war without the knowledge of its government and people. Mr. Nasrallah alluded to this in television appearances, calling on those who criticized him for having triggered the war to shut up because "a great strategic victory" had been won.
The tactic worked for a day or two. However, it did not silence the critics, who have become louder in recent days. The leaders of the March 14 movement, which has a majority in the Lebanese Parliament and government, have demanded an investigation into the circumstances that led to the war, a roundabout way of accusing Hezbollah of having provoked the tragedy. Prime Minister Fuad Siniora has made it clear that he would not allow Hezbollah to continue as a state within the state. Even Michel Aoun, a maverick Christian leader and tactical ally of Hezbollah, has called for the Shiite militia to disband.
Please read the whole thing...
Another fake hezbollah picture....
Hezbollah has now removed the image....
http://www.moqavemat.com - an Iran-based website run by the Hezbollah terrorist group - is running this picture (above) of what it claims is the Israeli ship it hit with a missile last month.
Now look at the Royal Australian Navy’s picture below - as published by Defence Industry Daily - of its sinking of the decommissioned Australian destroyer-escort HMAS Torrens off the coast of Western Australia in 1998 . We were told at the time the Torrens was deliberately sunk by a torpedo fired by one of our own submarines, the HMAS Farncomb.
Should we now think that we were in fact attacked by Hezbollah - or is this just the latest proof that Hezbollah will lie and lie again for propaganda gain?
Red-Black Alliance strikes again...
This is a story about Argentina from the World Jewish Congress web site:
Left-wing activists in Argentina have prevented an anti-Iran demonstration, JTA reports. Jewish groups organized a demonstration on Wednesday in front of the Iranian embassy in Buenos Aires to protest Iran’s support for the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon. But some 50 members of the radical Quebracho group stopped traffic and blocked the street so the Jewish demonstration could not proceed. Argentine Jewish leaders expressed serious concern. The president of the Jewish umbrella organization DAIA, Jorge Kirszenbaum, called on the government to guarantee freedom to demonstrate. He said it was "unacceptable that Jews and non-Jews alike could not express their rejection of terrorism in the streets of Buenos Aires."
Is Ahmadinejad ready to sacrifice Iran to destory Israel?
Here's one view of the Iranian threat from Israel's former national security advisor.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, if he ever became the supreme decision maker in his country, would "sacrifice half of Iran for the sake of eliminating Israel," Giora Eiland, Israel's former national security adviser, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.
At present, Eiland stressed, the ultimate decision maker in Iran was Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, 67, whom he said was "more reasonable." But, Eiland went on, "if Ahmadinejad were to succeed him - and he has a reasonable chance of doing so - then we'd be in a highly dangerous situation."
The 49-year-old Iranian president, he said, "has a religious conviction that Israel's demise is essential to the restoration of Muslim glory, that the Zionist thorn in the heart of the Islamic nations must be removed. And he will pay almost any price to right the perceived historic wrong. If he becomes the supreme leader and has a nuclear capability, that's a real threat."
In facing up to Iran's nuclear ambitions, Eiland said the United States had three possible courses of action, "all of them bad," and that a decision could not be postponed for too long, "since delay, too, is a decision of sorts."
The three options are to give up and to accept that Iran will go nuclear; to launch a last-ditch effort at diplomacy; and to launch a military option.
The Red Cross Ambulance Incident...
Here's an in-depth look at yet another anti-Israel hoax....
On the night of July 23, 2006, an Israeli aircraft intentionally fired missiles at and struck two Lebanese Red Cross ambulances performing rescue operations, causing huge explosions that injured everyone inside the vehicles. Or so says the global media, including Time magazine, the BBC, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and thousands of other outlets around the world. If true, the incident would have been an egregious and indefensible violation of the Geneva Convention, and would constitute a war crime committed by the state of Israel.
But there's one problem: It never happened.
* * *
Of all the exposés and scandals surrounding the media's coverage of the Israel-Hezbollah conflict in Lebanon, The Red Cross Ambulance Incident stands out as the most serious. The other exposés were spectacular in their simplicity (photographers staging scenes, clumsy attempts at Photoshopping images), but often concerned fairly trivial details. What does it matter whether there was a big cloud of smoke over Beirut, or a really big cloud of smoke, as one notorious doctored photograph showed? The fact that the media was lying was indeed extremely important, and justified the publicity surrounding the exposés -- but what they were lying about was often minor, a slight fudging of the visuals to exaggerate the damage.
The ambulance incident, however, was anything but trivial. The media accused Israel of the most heinous type of war crime: intentionally targeting neutral ambulances which were attempting to rescue innocent victims. If true -- and it is almost universally accepted as true -- then Israel would lose any claim to moral superiority in the conflict. The commanders who ordered the strike should be brought up on war-crimes charges. As it is, the worldwide outcry over Israel's purported malfeasances grew so strident that the country was pressured into a ceasefire. The media's depictions of Israel's actions so influenced public opinion that Israel felt compelled to end the fighting right at the moment it was starting to gain the upper hand. And as a result, Hezbollah has now claimed victory.
The Red Cross Ambulance Incident was perhaps the most damning of all the evidence against Israel, and the most morally indefensible. Other incidents were open to debate: in those cases where Israel bombed buildings that turned out to have civilians inside, Israel claimed either that it didn't know the building was occupied, or that it was trying to hit a Hezbollah stronghold elsewhere in the same building; or that the strike was a mistake, an errant missile. But targeting clearly marked ambulances, and hitting them directly -- there's no possible excuse for that. So this specific incident contributed to the outrage over the war, eventually causing Israel to stand down.
Which makes it all the more shocking to learn that the attack on the ambulances most likely never occurred, and that the "evidence" supporting the claim is in fact a hoax.
Go check the link for all the evidence.
Take Back the Night for Men???
I wish Stats Canada would say the same for Canada - the streets are safer for women than for men.
Every year, campuses and cities across North America hold "Take Back the Night" -- marches and rallies to protest violence against women. But surprising data suggests that men may need to reclaim 'the night' as urgently as women.
On Aug. 10, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released the results of its first national Personal Safety Survey (PSS, 2005). It is the only national survey by a 'Western' country that analyzes a wide range of violence on the basis of a respondent's sex.
Thus, the PSS offers the best snapshot available of the comparative violence experienced by men and women in a society with laws and a culture similar to North America.
The results are remarkable. If valid, they have far-reaching implications for how issues of gender and violence should be addressed.
The current approach basically views women as victims and men as aggressors. The survey's bottom line: Australian men are twice as likely as women to become victims of physical violence or of threats thereof (11 percent of men; 5.8 percent of women). For the population between eighteen and twenty-four years of age, men were almost three times as likely (31 percent of men; 12 percent of women). But men were also three times more likely than women to be the perpetrators of violence.
Violence against men most often took the form of a brute physical attack rather than a sexual assault/threat. When perpetrated by another man, the assault occurred "at licensed premises (34 percent) or in the open (35 percent), however if the perpetrator was female then 77 percent of the physical assaults occurred in the home."
A new Islamic Caliphate?
We've all been waiting for centuries for the Calipahte to be re-born.
Meanwhile, a radical Islamic group called Hizb al-Tahrir (Liberation Party) is planning to declare the birth of an Islamic caliphate in the Gaza Strip on Friday. The relatively small party, which is seen as more extreme than Hamas, is said to have increased its popularity following what is perceived as a Hizbullah victory over Israel.
On Tuesday, thousands of the party's supporters staged a demonstration in Gaza City to mark the anniversary of the end of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. It was the first demonstration in the Gaza Strip in which demonstrators called for establishing an Islamic caliphate that would rule not only in the PA territories, but the entire world.
Buoyed by the large turnout, the party's leaders are now considering declaring an Islamic caliphate in the Gaza Strip during Friday prayers, sources close to the party said.
An Egyptian fatwa to kill Jews...
The Egyptian authorities have been ignoring anti-semitic incitements for decades...or should I say inflaming...
Egypt's Muslim authorities have stepped in to keep a wave of anti-Semitic sentiment from getting out of control, disowning an edict by a firebrand cleric calling for Israeli Jews to be killed.
On the eve of last week's truce in the month-long war between
Israel and Hezbollah, cleric Safwat al-Higazi issued an edict calling on worshippers to kill "any Zionist anywhere in wartime".
Speaking on the religious satellite network Al-Nas, the Cairo imam specified that the use of "fire arms, knives and poison" should be preferred to suicide bombings "in order to spare innocents".
Higazi later limited the edict to Israeli Jews, whom he said were all reservists in the army and therefore legitimate targets.
"I myself am ready to slash the throat of any Israeli I meet," he told the Sawt al-Umma newspaper.
Popular resentment over the Israeli offensive in Lebanon is close to boiling point in Egypt, one of only two Arab countries to have a peace treaty with the Jewish state.
Al-Azhar mosque, the leading theological authority for many Sunni Muslims, had to step in with a counter-fatwa and banned Higazi from preaching at Friday prayers.
"Killing Jews on the Egyptian territory would be a terrorist act," said the edict, issued three days after Higazi's.
However, the Al-Azhar fatwa said nothing about killing Jews in other countries.
UK Muslim leaders says martyrdom in Israel is just...
Maybe it should be called the Expo-Fascist Islamia...
A controversial Islamic scholar told an audience in Manchester this week that it was it was right to fight Israel and that "martyrdom" in Israel was just.
Azzam Tamimi, director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought and a leading member of the Muslim Association of Britain, was speaking at the Expo-Islamia, which was attended by more than 8,000 people at an arena in central Manchester.
The daylong event on Sunday, entitled, "A Call To Humanity," was designed to "present Islam to Muslims and non-Muslims, to call for the promotion of the common good for humanity and clarify the role and responsibility of Muslims living as minorities in the West." It was organized by Islamic Forum Europe and Youth Muslim Organization UK.
The local Jewish community expressed concern at the invited speakers.
Tamimi, a Hamas supporter, told a cheering crowd that UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George W. Bush were pursuing a path which was not "just and fair." He said the British government was attempting to make the war on terrorism a war on Islam.
Tamimi, who had previously said he was prepared to be a suicide bomber in Israel, said, "The greatest act of martyrdom is standing up for what is true and just. Martyrs are those who stand up and stand up in defiance of George Bush and Tony Blair."
"You stand up to them and you say, 'Desist. Stop this injustice, stop this oppression. We are Muslims in Europe, not European Muslims,'" he said.
"Being fair and just means finding the middle path. The middle path is not rubbing shoulders with Blair and Bush. They say we are in difficult times. I tell you, we are in the best of times, we must just have confidence in ourselves. Just stand up and defend what is right."
Following up on his statement last month glorifying the "resistance" of Hizbullah, he added, "Hamas is making sacrifices for you. We tell this government, Hamas is not a terrorist group, it is elected by the people of Palestine."
"We are not terrorists. We are defenders of the truth. Fighting those who invade Muslims is a just cause. The government is trying to turn the war on terror into the war on Islam," he said.
Iran training and equpping Iraqi insurgency....
We can't let the Iranians dictate policy in Iraq...
The Iranian government is training and equipping much of the Shiite insurgency in Iraq, a senior U.S. general said Wednesday, drawing one of the most direct links by the Pentagon.
Brig. Gen. Michael Barbero also said it was too soon to tell if the latest security crackdown in Baghdad has proved successful.
Barbero said it is a "policy of the central government in Iran" to destabilize Iraq and increase the violence there.
"I think it's irrefutable that Iran is responsible for training, funding and equipping some of these (Shiite) extremist groups and also providing advanced IED technology to them," Barbero said. "IED" refers to the improvised explosive devices _ roadside bombs _ that have caused much death and destruction in Iraq.
Bush's real mistake was in not sending in enough troops....and, of course, at any time, Europe could have pitched in but decided that the cause of Iraqi democracy was not worth pursuing.
It's important to use profiling...
A handy primer on what the Israelis could teach about security.
Israeli airport security, much of it invisible to the untrained eye, begins before passengers even enter the terminal. Officials constantly monitor behavior, alert to clues that may hint at danger: bulky clothing, say, or a nervous manner. Profilers -- that's what they're called -- make a point of interviewing travelers, sometimes at length. They probe, as one profiling supervisor told CBS, for ``anything out of the ordinary, anything that does not fit." Their questions can seem odd or intrusive, especially if your only previous experience with an airport interrogation was being asked whether you packed your bags yourself.
Unlike in US airports, where passengers go through security after checking in for their flights and submitting their luggage, security at Ben Gurion comes first. Only when the profiler is satisfied that a passenger poses no risk is he or she allowed to proceed to the check-in counter. By that point, there is no need to make him remove his shoes, or to confiscate his bottle of water.
Gradually, airport security in the United States is inching its way toward screening people, rather than just their belongings. At a handful of airports, security officers are being trained to notice facial expressions, body language, and speech patterns, which can hint at a traveler's hostile intent or fear of being caught.
But because federal policy still bans ethnic or religious profiling, US passengers continue to be singled out for special scrutiny mostly on a random basis. Countless hours have been spent patting down elderly women in wheelchairs, toddlers with pacifiers, even former US vice presidents -- time that could have been used instead to concentrate on passengers with a greater likelihood of being terrorists.
No sensible person imagines that ethnic or religious profiling alone can stop every terrorist plot. But it is illogical and potentially suicidal not to take account of the fact that so far every suicide-terrorist plotting to take down an American plane has been a radical Muslim man. It is not racism or bigotry to argue that the prevention of Islamist terrorism necessitates a special focus on Muslim travelers, just as it is not racism or bigotry when police trying to prevent a Mafia killing pay closer attention to Italians.
Of course most Muslims are not violent jihadis, but all violent jihadis are Muslim. ``This nation," President Bush has said, ``is at war with Islamic fascists." How much longer will we tolerate an aviation security system that pretends, for reasons of political correctness, not to know that?
Some sense from a UK Minister...
Wish our government would talk the same way....
Ruth Kelly will break with decades of Labour orthodoxy today by suggesting that multiculturalism may have resulted in a more fractured society.
The Communities Secretary is the first member of the Cabinet to warn publicly of the dangers of promoting cultural and religious difference in Britain at the expense of national "cohesion".
In a speech, she will acknowledge that the terrorist threat posed by British-born Muslim extremists has heightened tensions in some communities, particularly following the uncovering of an alleged plot to bomb trans-atlantic airliners.
In another break with previous policy she will address the issue of mass immigration, arguing that to discuss the subject is not being racist.
Some Christian Lebanese speak out...
I wish more newspapers would carry such stories....
Ain Ibl is next to the flattened village of Bint Jbeil, where there was heavy fighting between Hezbollah and Israel.
Imad Khoury, 38, the head of the local council, said the town is surrounded by Hezbollah missile batteries.
Hezbollah is dispensing up to $US12,000 ($16,000) to people who have lost property in the war, but Mr Hasrouni says he will not accept it. "We don't want to be indebted to Hezbollah," he said.
Residents who fled the town during the war returned to find bloodstains on their couches, or dirty handtowels where Hezbollah fighters had used their toilets, Mr Hasrouni said, adding that although many locals did not support this war, they could not stop it. Three years ago Hezbollah seized his olive groves for military purposes. He could do nothing.
"I do not like Hezbollah," said Mr Hasrouni, who still is afraid to visit his groves.
"I am disappointed with this war because Israel didn't really do the job … And I really don't believe anyone could disarm Hezbollah."
Human Rights Watch is on acid...
Or, they are smoking something...
When it comes to Israel and its enemies, Human Rights Watch cooks the books about facts, cheats on interviews, and releases predetermined conclusions that are driven more by their ideology than by evidence. These are serious accusations, and they are demonstrably true. Consider the following highly publicized "conclusion" reached by Human Rights Watch about the recent war in Lebanon between Hezbollah and Israel: "Human Rights Watch found no cases in which Hezbollah deliberately used civilians as shields to protect them from retaliatory IDF attack." No cases! Anyone who watched even a smattering of TV during the war saw with their own eyes direct evidence of rockets being launched from civilian areas. But not Human Rights Watch. How could an organization, which claims to be objective, have been so demonstrably wrong about so central a point in so important a war? Could it have been an honest mistake? I don't think so. Human Rights Watch not only failed to interview witnesses who had contrary evidence, it ignored credible news sources, such as the New York Times and the New Yorker.
"Hezbollah came to Ain Ebel to shoot its rockets," said Fayad Hanna Amar, a young Christian man, referring to his village. "They are shooting from between our houses." Mr. Amar said Hezbollah fighters in groups of two and three had come into Ain Ebel, less than a mile from Bint Jbail, where most of the fighting has occurred. They were using it as a base to shoot rockets, he said, and the Israelis fired back.
– Sabrina Tavernise, "Christians Fleeing Lebanon Denounce Hezbollah," the New York Times, July 28, 2006
Dershowitz has many more examples in his article...
And now, Abbas pays salaries to Hamas terrorists...
And, people think that Abbas is a moderate!
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) gave some 5,000 members of Hamas' special "operational force" salaries this week, Palestinian sources say. The salaries came from funds the Arab League sent to Abu Mazen's office to pay the wages of 170,000 PA officials. Most members of the "operational force" belong to Hamas' military wing, Iz al-Din al-Qassam, led by Yussef al-Zahar, the Palestinian foreign minister's brother.
Abbas can't even control his fatah movement...
And, all he wanted to do was to try and stop rockets from being launch on Israel.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was forced earlier this week to call off plans to deploy PA security personnel in the northern Gaza Strip when several armed groups, including militias from his own Fatah movement, threatened to attack these forces, PA officials here told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.
Abbas had planned to deploy several hundred PA policemen and security officers in an attempt to stop the armed organizations from firing rockets at Israel, the officials said, noting that the proposed move had won the backing of the US and Israel.
We've blogged on the low number of hurricanes this season....but something else is brewing...
A soon-to-be released study by a Danish university says that Greenland's glaciers have been shrinking for most the past 100 years. The study of 247 of the 350 glaciers on Disko island shows that 70% of these glaciers have been retreating at a rate of about 8 meters a year since the end of the 1880s. There was apparently a real surge in glacier melting caused by a warming of the earth's atmosphere during the 1920s.
I can't wait to see it published...
How's this for a manifesto?
This is truly outrageous.
The publication of a virulently anti-Israeli manifesto by the Italian Islamic Communities Union (UCOII ) in a number of Italian newspapers has sparked controversy over Islamic anti-Semitism in Italy.
In its manifesto titled “Nazi massacres yesterday, Israeli massacres today”, published as an advert on 19 August on “Il Quotidiano Nazionale” and its regional editions, UCOII compared Israel to the Third Reich regime and the killing of Arab civilians to the Nazi mass executions of Italians carried out under German occupation during World War II.
Iran keep foot-dragging...
Enough talk already...when is the world going to do something?
Few people in the Western world expected that Iran would give a categorical yes or no answer Tuesday to the Western incentives dangled before Teheran to suspend their uranium enrichment. And, as a result, few were disappointed.
Indeed, Iran's offer of a "new formula" and willingness to enter "serious negotiations" to resolve the dispute fits well into the pattern of Iranian foot-dragging the world has become so accustomed to on this issue over the years.
This tactic can be summed up like this: tease the West by professing a willingness to "engage," leave them with a glimmer of hope that this engagement is actually making some progress, and in the meantime keep plodding ahead with the research and development needed to build the Jihad Bomb.
UN Security Council Resolution 1696 - which was passed, by the way, on July 31 while the war in Lebanon still raged - calls for Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment by August 31 or else face economic and diplomatic sanctions.
Teheran did not say Tuesday either way whether it would suspend its enrichment program. Rather it presented yet another option, buying more time. Never mind that Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Monday that his country's nuclear program would continue. The Iranians have, once again, tempted the West with the option of more negotiations.
Weapons from Saudi headed for US....
Glad this was intercepted.
Italian authorities seized a container full of weapons including Kalashnikov assault rifles and plastic explosives bound for the US from Saudi Arabia in May, Press reports said.
Il Mattino newspaper reported that the 'arsenal' was discovered during a search of a ship registered to an unnamed ex-Soviet republic which was travelling from Saudi Arabia to the US east coast.
In addition to 70 AK-47 assault rifles and plastics used in explosives, the shipment also contained launch pads for rockets, it said.
New eatery in India named after Hitler...
I'm surprised there's not a chain of these in Iran.
A new restaurant in India's financial hub, named after Adolf Hitler and promoted with posters showing the German leader and Nazi swastikas, has infuriated the country's small Jewish community.
'Hitler's Cross', which opened last week, serves up a wide range of continental fare and a big helping of controversy, thanks to a name the owners say they chose to stand out among hundreds of Mumbai eateries.
"We wanted to be different. This is one name that will stay in people's minds," owner Punit Shablok told Reuters.
"We are not promoting Hitler. But we want to tell people we are different in the way he was different."
But India's remaining Jews -- most migrated to Israel and the West over the years -- say they are outraged by the gimmick.
"This signifies a severe lack of awareness of the agony of millions of Jews caused by one man," said Jonathan Solomon, chairman of the Indian Jewish Federation, the community's umbrella organisation.
Thomas Sowell has it right....
I agree - western civilization is at risk...and we don't seem to know how to defend it.
It is hard to think of a time when a nation -- and a whole civilization -- has drifted more futilely toward a bigger catastrophe than that looming over the United States and western civilization today.
Nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran and North Korea mean that it is only a matter of time before there are nuclear weapons in the hands of international terrorist organizations. North Korea needs money and Iran has brazenly stated its aim as the destruction of Israel -- and both its actions and its rhetoric suggest aims that extend even beyond a second Holocaust.
Indonesian protesters carry a picture of Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and shout slogans calling on Iran to stop its nuclear program, outside the Iranian embassy in Jakarta August 9, 2006.
Send not to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.
This is not just another in the long history of military threats. The Soviet Union, despite its massive nuclear arsenal, could be deterred by our own nuclear arsenal. But suicide bombers cannot be deterred.
Fanatics filled with hate cannot be either deterred or bought off, whether Hezbollah, Hamas or the government of Iran.
The endlessly futile efforts to bring peace to the Middle East with concessions fundamentally misconceive what forces are at work.
Hate and humiliation are key forces that cannot be bought off by "trading land for peace," by a "Palestinian homeland" or by other such concessions that might have worked in other times and places.
Humiliation and hate go together. Why humiliation? Because a once-proud, dynamic culture in the forefront of world civilizations, and still carrying a message of their own superiority to "infidels" today, is painfully visible to the whole world as a poverty-stricken and backward region, lagging far behind in virtually every field of human endeavor.
There is no way that they can catch up in a hundred years, even if the rest of the world stands still. And they are not going to wait a hundred years to vent their resentments and frustrations at the humiliating position in which they find themselves.
Israel's very existence as a modern, prosperous western nation in their midst is a daily slap across the face. Nothing is easier for demagogues than to blame Israel, the United States, or western civilization in general for their own lagging position.
Unfortunately, Bush is too radioactive to do anything....and there are very few people on the left who understand the problem.
Lebanese General Arrested for Having Tea with Israelis...
The shock, the horror....tea with an Israeli.
A video showing Lebanese soldiers cordially offering Israeli troops glasses of tea during the military offensive earlier this month has hit Israeli and Hezbollah airwaves.
The video, shot by Israelis on August 10, when Israeli troops "took control" of the southern Lebanese town of Marjeyoun, aired on Israel's Channel 2 on Wednesday.
Hezbollah's al-Manar TV network and pro-Hezbollah NEW TV then picked up the video and condemned the Lebanese soldiers as deserters. (Watch the video to see if it suggests treason or courtesy -- 2:29)
There have been conflicting accounts of what happened at Marjeyoun.
In the video, two Israeli tanks roll up to the gate of the Marjeyoun garrison, where a white surrender flag flutters outside the barracks.
Inside, Lebanese soldiers hold trays with glasses of tea, which they offer to the Israelis. The encounter appears merely social.
However, it is possible that unpleasant parts of the video were deleted during editing.
After the video aired, the Lebanese interior ministry ordered the arrest of the base commander, Gen. Adnan Daoud, according to The Associated press. Lebanon does not recognize Israel and forbids its citizens any contact with Israelis.
Lebanon's army orders....
More proof that Lebanon will do nothing to disarm Hezbollah....
An internal Lebanese army statement, circulated among forces in the past week, has called for troops to stand "alongside your resistance and your people who astonished the world with its steadfastness and destroyed the prestige of the so-called invincible army after it was defeated".
Here's how Hezbollah treats the UN....
The UN will always stand down....when faced by Hezbollah...
Hizbollah mourners on a funeral parade shoved aside anti-tank barriers at a United Nations base in Lebanon yesterday in a demonstration of their new political strength.
The party had been told it would be allowed to bury three "martyrs" at the Naqoura town cemetery inside the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifil) compound, but only if there was no flag-waving or political sloganising.
When the chanting procession, several hundred strong, reached the gates, it found the way barred by cruci-form steel tank traps. Mourners argued with the French guards, but failed to gain entry.
A mob of young men then dragged the barriers away and the UN opened the gates. "They will eat us alive," said a middle-aged official as the throng surged in.
A column of black-shirted men carried the three coffins to the graveyard. They waved yellow Hizbollah banners and portraits of the movement's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, and yelled anti-Israeli and anti-American doggerel.
Iran trying hard to re-arm Hezbollah....
I don't think you'll hear Kofi Annan say peep about this.
Israeli and American intelligence agencies alerted Turkish authorities last Friday that several Lebanon-bound Iranian planes, loaded with military hardware meant for the Hizbullah, were making their way through Turkish airspace, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
According to information obtained by the Post, the intelligence agencies were tracking several suspicious Iranian aircraft as they were taking off from an Iranian airfield.
Turkey was then warned about the planes and their cargo which were to fly over Turkish airspace. Shortly after Turkey was tipped off, Iranian officials ordered the planes to return to their point of departure, where, according to unconfirmed Turkish reports, the arms were removed from the Iranian planes.
After offloading the arms, the planes took off again and were forced to land in Turkey for inspection by the airport authorities. Turkish aviation officials told the Post that no weapons were found on the planes.
Since the war with Hizbullah erupted last month, and especially since the ceasefire, Turkey has intercepted several Iranian and Syrian Lebanon-bound ships in the Eastern Mediterranean sea, as well as two transit trucks from Syria, the Post has learned.
Meanwhile, the London-based Arab daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported on Monday that large amounts of rockets have been transferred from Iran to Syria en route to the Hizbullah in Lebanon.
According to the report, the Iranian Revolutionary Commands have set up a special body in Damascus whose aim is to supply all of Hizbullah's needs.
British Night Goggles Found in Hezbollah Bunkers...
Were they sent to Hezbollah by the Iranians?
An urgent investigation was launched last night after Israel accused Britain of indirectly supplying Hezbollah terrorists with military night-vision equipment that helped them to target Israeli soldiers in Lebanon.
The equipment was found by Israeli troops in Hezbollah command bunkers in southern Lebanon. Each set was stamped “made in Britain”.
The Israelis made representations to the Foreign Office after it was revealed that Britain had sold 250 night-vision systems to Iran in 2003 for use against drug smugglers.
Foreign Office officials said early indications seemed to suggest that the night-vision equipment found by the Israelis was not part of the batch sold in 2003 to Iran. However, thorough checks were being made to compare serial numbers on the equipment found in the Hezbollah bunkers with those on the ones exported legitimately to Iran.
The Iranians are the prime sponsor of Hezbollah, and the Israeli authorities are demanding to know whether the equipment sold to Iran three years ago ended up in the hands of Hezbollah, which killed 117 Israeli soldiers during the month-long clashes in Lebanon.
A Department of Trade and Industry official said night-vision equipment of military specification required an export licence. The investigation will look into whether any British company might have breached export regulations.
The batch of 250 night-vision systems were given a special export licence in 2003 because they were intended to be used by Iranian police trying to stem the flow of heroin and opium from Afghanistan into Iran. Although there is what amounts to an arms embargo against Iran, aimed principally at stopping the export of equipment that could benefit Tehran’s suspected nuclear weapons programme, the request for night-vision equipment was approved in recognition of the counter-narcotics work.
When the export was agreed, Mike O’Brien, then Junior Minister at the Foreign Office, told the Commons: “The goods are for the use on the Iran-Afghanistan border against heroin smugglers.” He said there was “no risk of these goods being diverted for use by the Iranian military”.
And,, this is a conservative?
He's going to use quotas??? Has he heard of local democracy???
David Cameron [conservative leader in the UK] will unveil controversial plans today to use quotas to accelerate his drive for more women parliamentary candidates in the Conservative Party's target seats.
The Tory leader will announce that in future at least half the names on the final shortlist for selection in these seats must be women.
He will also risk a showdown with party traditionalists by spelling out proposals to strip grassroots members of the final say over who becomes their candidate.
There's no need for quotas to increase the number of women who sit in Parliament. Women make up 51% of the electorate - if they want more women in Parliament, they can just do it. From my perspective, it makes no difference if we have more or less women - all I care about is competence.
The benefits of breast implants...
Not only are they safe, they save lives.
An Israeli woman's breast implants saved her life when she was wounded in a Hizbollah rocket attack during
Israel's war with the Lebanese group, a hospital spokesman said Tuesday.
Doctors found shrapnel embedded in the silicone implants, just inches from the 24-year-old's heart.
"She was saved from death," said a spokesman for Nahariya Hospital in northern Israel. The woman has been released from hospital.